Northern Han Kingdom Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Northern Han Kingdom - 951 to 979 - 28 Years

Founding of the Northern Han Liu Min founded the Northern Han Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Han, in 951 claiming that he was the legitimate heir to the imperial throne of the Later Han Dynasty. Liu Min immediately restored the traditional relationship the Shatuo Turks had with the Khitans, who had founded the Liao Dynasty. The Northern Han was a small kingdom located in Shanxi with its capital located at Taiyuan. Shanxi had been a traditional base of power since the fading days of the Tang Dynasty in the late ninth century and early tenth century.

Wedge Between Liao and Song The existence of the Northern Han was one of the two major thorns in relations between the Liao Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, the other being the continued possession of the Sixteen Prefectures by the Liao Dynasty. The Northern Han had placed itself under the protection of the Liao. Emperor Taizu was successful in nearly completing the incorporation of the southern kingdoms into the Song Dynasty by his death in 976. His younger brother, Emperor Taizong wished to emulate his older brother's successes. Wuyue was brought into the realm in 978.

Fall of the Northern Han Emboldened by his success to the south, Emperor Taizong decided to embark on a campaign to finally destroy the Northern Han. Leading the army himself, he brought his forces to the Northern Han capital of Taiyuan, which was laid under siege in June. An initial relief force sent by the Liao was easily defeated by Song. After a two-month siege of the capital, the leader of the Northern Han surrendered, the kingdom was incorporated into the Song Dynasty.

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